BTS Festa 2021 8th Anniversary RM Special: 'Mono' and Namjoon's lyricism will be ARMY's forever comfort home
From 'Tokyo', 'Seoul', to 'Forever Rain', 'Mono' remains a home for many who seek solace during hard days
BTS Festa 2021 is here and the eighth anniversary of the Grammy-nominated Bangtan Boys, the K-pop group deemed the biggest music act right now, is more significant than any other. Achieved the crux of commercial success by breaking many world records, BTS has been hailed as the fastest musical act to get four Billboard Hot 100 number one back to back since Jackson 5 in 1970.
But just like their biggest hits - 'Butter', 'Dynamite', and more, speak of their huge success commercially, BTS is more than just 'shining through the city with little funk and soul' (although there's nothing wrong in lighting up the city like Dynamite). BTS' contribution to music also encompasses personal and social commentary, exploring the themes of mental health, troubles of youth, raw coming-of-age stories, loss, the journey towards loving oneself, and deeper reference to Jungian psychology for an interpretation of individualism. Here, in this series for BTS' 8th anniversary, we'll take a look at all the members' individual journey and how their unique contribution added to this new genre: 'BTS-Pop.'
The mastery of Namjoon's lyricism
BTS had many a factor 'working' for them and one of the most crucial keys to BTS' tremendous success is none other than the level-headed leader Kim Namjoon, who has become a synonym for comfort during hard days to ARMY. Namjoon has contributed to a major part of BTS' discography, and along with that, continued to make solo music that needed to be put out there for humanity's sake.
RM released 'Mono', which he described as a playlist while others defined it as a mixtape, on October 23, 2018. The mixtape included seven tracks, a no-nonsense no-skip playlist that found its place in Billboard's The 20 Best K-Pop Albums of 2018: Critics' Picks at number six and Bravo's Top 10 Best K-pop albums of the year. MTV described the mixtape as "equal parts wistful and weary, and the theme of loneliness is constant throughout" where RM's "deep insecurities bare on songs like 'Tokyo' and 'Seoul.'"
Here's why 'Mono' will be ARMY's forever comfort home
When we asked ARMY to pick their favorite track from RM's discography, fans poured their love for 'Mono' and all the B-side tracks that found meaning in them. From 'Tokyo', 'Seoul', to 'Forever Rain', 'Mono' remains a home for many who seek solace during hard days. Speaking of Namjoon's lyricism in 'Mono', an ARMY wrote, "Mono is truly an impeccable piece of art. When it came out, it instantly became my fav album out of everything I've listened to. 4 years later, it's still my fav. Joon's lyricism and how he translated challenging hard times into such beautiful tracks never ceased to amaze me." Another ARMY chimed in saying, "All tracks from mono are my favorite but if I have to choose, uhgood and tokyo have comforted and helped me through tough times!"
Mono is truly an impeccable piece of art. When it came out, it instantly became my fav album out of everything I've listened to. 4 years later, it's still my fav. Joon's lyricism and how he translated challenging hard times into such beautiful tracks never ceased to amaze me. #RM pic.twitter.com/ZfQ1YHDSM7— NIGHTPEARL⁷💜 (@NJNH0911) June 5, 2021
All tracks from mono are my favorite but if I have to choose, uhgood and tokyo have comforted and helped me through tough times💕— RM Update 🐨 (@Joonsbase) June 4, 2021
In 'Forever Rain', RM says, "When it rains I/ Get a little feeling that I do have a friend/ Keeps knocking on my windows/ Asks me if I’m doing well/ And I answer, I’m still a hostage of life/ I don’t live because I can’t die/ But I’m chained to something." In 'Everythinggoes', RM makes peace with the fleeting feeling, even when he feels 'chained', he notes, 'Everything, everything, everything goes/ Everything everything else goes/ It passes."
It's been two and a half years since 'Mono' happened. And while ARMY has celebrated each and every peak of of BTS' success, fans with an avid penchant for RM's lyricism are holding on to hope that one day they will get the sequel to 'Mono', to celebrate the mastery of one of South Korea's most talented songwriters.
Listen to 'Forever Rain' below.
Listen to 'Mono' here.